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Assembly Highlights

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

Synod of the Covenant

Assembly Highlights

October 26-28, 2023

The Synod of the Covenant held its annual meeting, retreat and fall assembly from October

26-28, 2023, at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, OH. Here are some of the highlights.

  • The Assembly was led in worship and devotion by preacher Gregory Bryant of Detroit Presbytery, musician Kristin Woodard of Maumee Valley Presbytery, and vice-moderator Sandy Seaton Todd, anchoring us in Christ as we discerned the mind of Christ.

  • Organizer of Synod Communities of Color Lindsey Anderson and Stated Clerk Fran Lane Lawrence led the assembly in the Friday plenary, Working for Racial Justice in the Synod of the Covenant. This plenary and discussion covered the history of the Synod since the 1970s, best practices for conversation around race, and the need to internalize the anti-racism values we proclaim.

  • Lindsey Anderson gave her final report as Organizer of Synod Communities of Color, reporting on the breadth (or lack thereof) of communities of color throughout the Synod, and recommending two actions which the Synod adopted

    • The Synod Assembly will review a job description for a full-time Associate Executive for Racial Justice at its January 2024 assembly, a position which is fully-funded in the 2024 budget.

    • The Synod Assembly will receive a first reading of a change in by laws to include an additional six commissioners of color at its January 2024 assembly.

  • Synod Executive Chip Hardwick announced that the Synod has been awarded a grant from the Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Grant for $1.25 million. Click here for more information: Equipping Preachers | Synod Of The Covenan (

  • The assembly approved a job description for a ten-hour-a-week Commissioned Ruling Elder/Commissioned Pastor Coordinator, to be filled in early 2024. You can find the job description here: Seeking: Commissioned Ruling Elder/Commissioned Pastor Coordinator (

  • The 2024 budget was approved, using cash and other reserves to support a $150 thousand deficit to fund the new positions. Click here to view it: e1e8df_25a667c79bb24a349f2c891ef7ffaf2d.pdf (

  • The following officers were elected for 2024: Sandy Seaton Todd, Moderator; Andy Thorburn, Vice-Moderator; Adrienne Adams, Moderator of the Leadership Committee; Frank Walburg, Finance Committee Moderator; Jon Carlisle, Governance Committee Moderator; Mary Jane Knapp, Human Resources Committee Moderator; and Lora Manon, Nominating Committee Moderator.

To view all of the meeting papers, please visit Synod Assembly 10.26-28.2023 | Synod Of The Covenan ( If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Stated Clerk Fran Lane Lawrence at or Executive Chip Hardwick at

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